THE first manager of the Oasis Leisure Centre is concerned about the deterioration of the site since it shut last year. 

Chic Carvell, who worked at the North Star facility from its opening in 1976 until 1982, said a new centre should be built. 

We asked you on Facebook whether there should be a new Oasis – rather than a redevelopment of the current centre – and here’s what you told us...

Angela Sindy Reid: “Kids want more than basic swimming slides, rides, waves, so maybe just get on with the ski centre that’s been promised.”

Daniel Adams: “Exactly this! The Oasis was great and we all have memories of it but it’s at the end of life. It needs to be replaced with a new centre which builds on its legacy.

"The old one shut down due to its running costs as it’s at the end of its useful life. A new one will address this issue making it an attractive prospect for any new firm which wants to run it.”

Angela Swan: “Yes I agree – we should have a new one.”

Neil Nutley: “Why not just do a complete entertainment centre, with ski slopes, new swimming pool with better Domebusters keeping the iconic wave machine and round roof, it could be fantastic with money injected and a bit of drive.”

Duncan Godfrey: “It’s an eyesore. Demolish it and replace it with a decent music venue.”

Ben Blakey: “The problem is, if the Oasis remains then it is something SBC have hanging around their neck to sort. If it is demolished then they will just let it go down in history and not replace it.”

Allan Bott: “There will be no Oasis. Whoever gets the deal to build a new one will demolish it and realise that 'they have no money' So they’ll build houses on the land.”

Emma Williams: “The Oasis is iconic and is still economical viable to be refurbished. Young people in Swindon need to have leisure facilities they want to use. Where is this research to prove it is not longer viable? This has never been publicly published. If the Oasis is demolished the only thing that will be built on that land will be housing.”
Mat Brennan: “We don’t need a new one, we just need the existing one refurbished and reopened.

“SBC had no intention of investing tax payers money in facilities for tax payers, and Covid came at just the right time for them to let the boroughs leisure facilities fall into disrepair and give them an excuse to close them. It gives them more millions to waste on white elephant roundabout and traffic light projects.”

Jenn Wolfie: “It will just be another unfilled promise. Art centre and museum, new theatre, ski slope...”

Richard Howroyd: “The delays in delivery increasingly put any plans at risk as construction costs increase by 40 per cent post Brexit and pandemic due to shortages in workers and ability to obtain materials. SevenCapital will want to make the greatest financial return which in current market conditions is difficult to predict but housing would be the safest option.”

Nikki Matthews: “Yes! Bring it back.”

David Wainwright: “From what I’ve seen on YouTube from footage shot by urban explorers, it looks sadly like a refurbished Oasis is likely to cost more than a new modern up-to-date design – 50 years is a good innings for a modern building. 

"The priority should be to seek funding, maybe National Lottery, good causes to get something in place within five years, the children and youth of Swindon are missing out, as are their parents, from healthy, fun, quality family times.”

And here are a selection of comments left on the Adver's website...

'Swinetown': "The man is right. But first we need a council with some drive and some ambition. At the moment The Oasis is like the rest of Swindon. In a state of decline. And this blinkered council couldn't appear to care less."

'Brent Maverick': "This man cuts through the fog of nostalgia and talks plain common sense."

'neiluk': "The Oasis is architecturally and culturally significant and the current building can be modernised without losing the dome and key features."